Morne Diablotin National Park is located in the northwestern region of the island country of Dominica. The park encompasses an area of 12.88 square miles (33.36 sq km) creating the second largest park.
Morne Diablotin is the focal point of the park. The mountain reaches a summit of 4,747 feet (1,447 m) making it the tallest point on the island and the second tallest point in the Lesser Antilles. The mountain was created from volcanic activity, however, it has not had any activity for over 30,000 years.
The runoff of the mountain serves as the source of the Toulaman River which flows across the island entering the sea on the northeast side of the island. For those who venture up to the summit, they will be rewarded with panoramic views of Dominica's other mountains as well as the island of Martinique.
The majority of vegetation is accounted for by rainforest, montane forest, and the elfin woodlands located in the higher elevations. The mountain palm, fern, and other rainforest vegetation blanket the floor beneath the rainforest and montane forest.
The park is not known for its wildlife, but it is home to the critically endangered sisserou parrot which is endemic to the island along with the Jaco red-necked parrot which is also endemic. The blue-headed hummingbird is endemic to Dominica and a couple of neighboring islands.
Accordingly, the park is more popular for bird-watchers who enjoy witnessing endemic and rare species.
The highlights of the park occur from either summiting the island's tallest mountain or seeing one of the endemic species of birds.
The parrot is also known as the Dominica amazon or the imperial amazon. It stands 19 inches (48 cm) tall from the tip of the tail to the top of its head and weighs up to 32 oz (900 g) making it one of the larger species within the genus.
It is the national bird of the country and is even displayed on the Dominican flag. It is critically endangered with estimates showing only around 50 birds left in the country.
As a birdwatcher, it would certainly be a highlight to see one of these beautiful parrots before they go extinct.
Morne Diablotin National Park Trails
Hiking and birdwatching are the primary activities of the national park. The majority of those venturing into the park look to ascend to the top of Morne Diablotin which features a few different routes to the peak.
Syndicate Natural Trail
The trail is rated easy and only covers a distance of 0.8 miles ( km). It treks along the rainforest floor at the base of the mountain providing a good chance to see the Jaco red-necked parrot or the sisserou parrot which are the islands' two endemic species.
Morne Diablotin Ascent
It takes approximately 3 hours to ascend to the top of the mountain. Although it is not rated difficult, there are parts of the trek up that are steep making it challenging for some. Meandering through the forest as you ascend provides an opportunity for birdwatching and the views from the top over the island are worth the endeavor.
The national park was created to protect the wilderness vegetation surrounding Morne diablotin which is the home of the endangered sisserou parrot.
Morne Diablotin Highlights
- Sisserou Parrot
- Morne Diablotin
- Bradt Guides, Morne Diablotin National Park, https://www.bradtguides.com/destinations/north-america-caribbean/dominica/morne-diablotin-national-park/, retrieved August 2021.
- Dominica The Nature Island, Morne Diablotin National Park, https://discoverdominica.com/en/places/162/morne-diablotins-national-park, retrieved August 2021.
- Dominican Consulate Greece, National Bird Symbol of Dominica https://dominicaconsulategreece.com/dominica/nationals-symbols/national-bird/, retrieved August 2021.
- Dominica Weekly, Morne Diablotin Hike, http://www.dominica-weekly.com/tag/morne-diablotin-national-park/, retrieved August 2021.
- eBirds, Images of Blue-headed Hummingbird, https://ebird.org/species/blhhum1, retrieved August 2021.
- UNESCO, Morne Diablotin National Park, https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/6021/, retrieved August 2021.Mor